Verizon, Tegna faceoff threatens broadcast blackout on Fios TV

Verizon and Tegna are currently at loggerheads over a new carriage agreement, and it could end up with Fios TV subscribers losing access to broadcast channels.

The impact would likely be primarily felt in the Washington D.C. market where Tegna operates WUSA, a CBS affiliate station.

“We are working hard to reach a fair, market-based agreement with Verizon based on the competitive terms we’ve used to reach deals with other major providers,” a Tegna spokesperson said in a statement.

Verizon has accused Tegna of asking for untenable rate increases.

“We have been working for some time to come to fair terms with Tegna and will continue to work diligently to reach a fair agreement on behalf of our customers. However, Tegna has proposed an immediate and unacceptable rate increase of almost 50% to carry their stations. We will not stand for this,” Verizon said in a statement.

RELATED: Tegna calls Dish’s bad faith complaint ‘utterly baseless’

The potential blackout on Verizon Fios comes as Tegna is also currently embroiled in a standoff with Dish Network that took down local broadcast stations for nearly 3 million Dish TV satellite customers in 53 markets since October.

Dish accused Tegna of demanding higher retransmission fees for the carriage of its channels and trying to boost its value as it reportedly seeks a sale.

"We made a fair offer to keep Tegna stations available to our customers, but Tegna rejected it, forcing the removal of its channels," said Brian Neylon, group president at Dish TV, in a statement. "Tegna is looking to sell its stations to the highest bidder and is simply trying to exploit Dish customers as a way to get the maximum price and further fatten their wallets."

Dish Network went as far as filing a bad faith complaint with the FCC against Tegna, which the broadcaster called “utterly baseless and without merit.”

“Tegna welcomes a chance for the FCC to review Dish’s conduct over the course of this negotiation. Perhaps a close examination of Dish’s conduct will cause them to come to the table to negotiate free from their consistently unproductive tactics and public misrepresentations,” the company said in a statement. “The real issue at hand is the need for Dish to stop short-changing their customers by serially dropping valued stations and instead reach fair, market-based deals with programmers like Tegna.”